This week, Disney announced that it planned to downsize about 28,000 workers in its California U.S. parks division after failing to come to a reasonable agreement with the state to keep the business open. Bob Iger, executive chairman of the Walt Disney Company and former CEO, resigned from Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom’s economic recovery task force after receiving the state’s edict.
On Wednesday, it was reported, “Emblematic of the Covid-19-related struggles and tensions between state officials, medical professionals and businesses, Walt Disney reported that it had no other choice but to lay off roughly 28,000 employees from its Disney Parks, Experiences and Products segment.”
Disney, according to the Wall Street Journal, placed the blame on California’s government and asserted that the closure was “exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen.”
Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, attempted to reach an accommodation with the state and “begged” the legislators to work out a solution to no avail. Health officials said that the Orange County-based flagship theme park did not meet the necessary guidelines to remain fully functional. The secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, Mark Ghaly, said that they will soon offer guidelines for the parks—perhaps, indicating that things could possibly change in the future.
The state claimed that they are “taking a data-and-science based approach when it comes to reopening theme parks,” but couldn’t offer specific criteria that had to be met. ” Until there’s a vaccine, the most important things all Californians can do to reduce Covid-19 transmission is masking, keeping physical distance and avoiding mixing when possible,” Ghaly responded to Disney’s pleas.
The California Attractions and Parks Association, a trade group, said, “We ask[ed] the Governor not to finalize guidance for amusement